8 eco-friendly bedroom hacks for you and your little one


According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), we spend a third of our lives sleeping or trying to catch quality zzzs.

So it’s safe to say your bedroom is a pretty important place when it comes to sleep — and it’s also an important place to focus on sustainability.

Making environmentally-friendly choices for your bedroom and your child’s nursery means healthier sleep and a healthier planet.

If you’re searching for eco-friendly bedroom inspiration, you’re in the right place. From essential oils to eco-friendly bed linens, here are 8 ideas for creating a sleep-friendly space that’s sustainable too.

First, what does eco-friendly mean?

With so much marketing jargon circulating both on and offline, the term “eco-friendly” can get confusing. The best eco-friendly products are made using sustainable methods and materials with the end goal of reducing or preventing pollution and environmental impact. 

Many eco-friendly products for infants and children also aim to reduce VOCs, which impact indoor air quality.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines VOCs or volatile organic compounds as “human-made chemicals” used to produce thousands of household products. These products give off potentially harmful chemical emissions. 

What’s more, the EPA has found that VOC levels in many households are up to 5 times higher indoors as opposed to outdoors. Seeking out low-VOC products is one way to safeguard your family’s health while protecting the environment.


Crib Notes

Cradlewise cribs are GREENGUARD Gold certified; this is a series of stringent tests that ensures chemical emissions are zero to minimal. The crib frame is made with molded plywood, eucalyptus, and oak wood. The glue and finish are VOC-free.

1. Opt for eco-friendly mattresses and pillows

It wouldn’t be an eco-friendly bedroom without a sustainable mattress and pillow, so they’re number one on our list. But picking the right ones can be tricky.

When it comes to mattresses, Consumer Reports notes that “organic” or “natural” packaging claims aren’t always backed by stringent standards.

There are simply too many labels — and it’s hard to guarantee that a mattress or pillow is completely free of harmful chemicals, or made using sustainable and environmentally-sound practices. 

That being said, when hunting for chemical-free pillows and mattresses, two labels worth looking for are:

  • GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard)
  • GOLS (Global Organic Latex Standard)

GOTS requires non-latex products to be made of 95% certified organic materials, while GOLS requires pillows or mattresses made of latex to contain 95% organic latex. For the remaining 5% of materials, both GOTS and GOLS have stringent guidelines for what can be used.


Did you know?

The Cradlewise mattress is 100% organic and biodegradable, made of natural coconut coir and organic rubber latex.

2. Choose eco-friendly bedding

When it comes to getting a good night’s sleep vs. tossing and turning, sheets and bedding make all the difference. Look for eco-friendly bedding that is recyclable, antibacterial, and sweat-absorbent.

The best sustainable bedding is made from natural fibers like organic cotton, linen, hemp, birch, bamboo, or eucalyptus. Many textile companies also now use sustainable practices like 

  • Natural dyes
  • Less water consumption
  • Fewer chemicals like bleach

Did you know?

Cradlewise comes with a mattress cover and fitted sheet that are 100% cotton and washable.

3. Try natural fragrances to freshen up rooms

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has expressed concerns about plug-in fresheners, sprays, and gels because of the increased presence of phthalates in these products. Phthalates, which can be absorbed by the skin or inhaled once released into the air, are linked to reproductive and other health issues.

A better option is essential oils. When used correctly and in limited quantities, essential oils can freshen up a room naturally. 

The ​​Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests the following safe practices for essential oils:

  • Peppermint, lavender, and citrus essential oils have been researched and found to be safe for use around children.
  • Use only pure essential oils, not synthetic ones. Check the label for the country of origin, extraction method, and the Latin name of the plant.
  • Keep oils out of reach of children.
  • Essential oils are flammable so avoid heat-based diffusers.
  • Water-based diffusers should be used for 20 minutes or less. Otherwise, they can cause irritation.
  • Do not apply undiluted essential oils to the skin.

4. Houseplants make for great natural air purifiers

Plants are a great way to go green. For starters, they literally bring life to a room and work wonders for air quality in bedrooms or nurseries. 

Plants are a natural way to replace carbon dioxide with oxygen within your home. They also help filter harmful VOCs like formaldehyde from indoor air.

When it comes to the nursery, opt for kid-friendly plants. Here are a few good ones –

  • Bird’s Nest Fern: Great for a changing table or tabletop, this plant is small, easy to take care of, and non-toxic.
  • Birds of Paradise: It’s a large, resilient plant that isn’t easy to knock over or damage (in case the little one tugs on it).
  • Neanthe Bella Palm: Ideal for low-light nurseries, this is another great option that’s easy to take care of and can take a beating.
  • Hoya Kentiana: If you’re tight on space, this hanging plant is a great non-toxic option with beautiful flowers.

5. Switch out detergents and cleaners to eco-friendly alternatives

Conventional chemical cleaners contain high amounts of VOCs. So, washing your bedding with natural detergents is another simple yet effective way to make a sustainable change. But “greenwashing” is something to look out for. 

Greenwashing is when brands market products as eco-friendly, natural, non-toxic, or plant-based, even though they may contain harmful ingredients.

Instead, look for stamps of approval from third-party organizations like EWG (Environmental 

Protection Agency), Green Seal, and UL Ecologo. These organizations limit the use of certain ingredients based on government or research-based restrictions. 

6. Non-toxic paints are simple yet effective

What’s the cardinal rule of painting? Ventilation, right? The reason is those dreaded VOCs we keep mentioning. VOCs are released into the air when you open a paint can.

Let’s look at the numbers:

Paint typeVOC content
VOC paint250 grams per liter
Low VOC paint50 grams per liter or lower
No VOC paint5 grams per liter or lower

That’s why opting for low to no VOC paint is a great choice for bedrooms and nurseries.

Besides the health and environmental benefits that you get from no to low VOC paints, they are also just as durable, and practically odorless.

7. Turn on eco-friendly lighting

Save money and energy by switching your lighting to Energy Star-certified bulbs. The Energy Star certification is issued to lighting that meets strict energy-saving standards set by the EPA.

Energy Star-certified bulbs:

  • Consume up to 90% less energy.
  • Last up to 15 times longer.
  • Produce up to 90% less heat.
  • Contain fewer toxic materials.
  • Have a reduced carbon footprint.

8. Keep your room temperature fairly low

Did you know your body temperature lowers naturally when it’s time for bed? The shift begins approximately 2 hours before bedtime and is an indicator for your brain to begin releasing melatonin (the sleep hormone). 

So, sleeping in a cool bedroom can help you get better and longer sleep. If the room is too cold or hot, it will disrupt your body’s natural drop in temperature.

Scientifically, 65°F has been proven to be the ideal sleep temperature for adults, and a few degrees higher for infants at 68°F to 72°F. Setting your thermostat to 65°F before bedtime will save energy and improve the quality of your sleep.


Did you know?

Your Cradlewise comes with a built-in room temperature monitor. You can check the temperature directly from the app instead of going into the nursery to look at the thermostat. Read more here.


  1. Eco-friendly bedroom hacks. 2022. Grove Collaborative. 5 ways to make your bedroom more eco-friendly.
  2. Volatile organic compounds. 2023. EPA. What are volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?
  3. Organic mattresses. 2020. Consumer Reports. Organic mattress labels you can trust. 
  4. Paint types. 2022. The Spruce. VOC paint vs non VOC paint comparison guide.
  5. Human sleep. National Institutes of Health. We spend a third of our life sleeping.
  6. Eco-friendly bedding. 2019. Architectural Digest. Eco-friendly bedding: Here’s what you should know.
  7. Air-freshener concerns. 2007. Consumer Reports. NRDC cites concerns over air fresheners. 
  8. Aromatherapy for children. 2022. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Aromatherapy for children. 
  9. Green cleaners. 2022. Consumer Reports. Should you buy green cleaners?
  10. Energy Star rating. Energy Star. Lights Bulbs.
  11. Energy-saving light bulbs. 2017. Consumer Reports. Bright outlook for energy-saving light bulbs.
  12. Energy Star rating, Energy Upgrade California. Lighting.
  13. Temperatures for sleep. Healthline. What is the best temperature for sleep?
  14. Sleep and temperature. 2022. Web MD. What’s the best temperature for sleep?
  15. Kid-friendly plants. 2020. Food52. The safest plants to have around kids and babies.

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